31 Dec 2014

Role of vitamin C in the body and its deficiency disorders

Vitamin C is also called Ascorbic acid, which is an important dietary antioxidant. It is required for collagen synthesis in the body. Traditional cooking method destroy it as vitamin C is very heat sensitive.
Actions of vitamin C include
1.Antioxidant activity.
2.Help the absorption of non heme iron .
3.Carnitine biosynthesis.
4.Required for the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine.
5.Help the production of  of peptide hormones.
6.Vitamin C is important  for collagen synthesis .
7.It is a part of many drug-metabolizing enzyme systems.
Significance of vitamin C in  the body
1. During stress and hospital admission and disease need of vitamin c increases. It may be due to decreased  absorption  or increased catabolism.
2. Need of vitamin c is increased during trauma and surgery for  extra collagen synthesis.
3. Vitamin C supplementation (e.g., 1–2 g/d) may slightly reduce.
 the symptoms and duration of common cold .
4.Vitamin C supplementation is also useful in Ch├ędiak-Higashi syndrome and osteogenesis imperfecta.
5. It is proposed that high dose of vitamin C intake will increase the anti oxidant property of body. So it will delay the development of degenerative disease such as cataract and  atherosclerosis
6. High vitamin C will help to prevent certain cancers especially stomach cancer and esophageal cancers. It may be because vitamin C prevent the conversion of nitrites and secondary amines to carcinogenic nitrosamines..
7. Parenteral ascorbic acid  is also tried in the treatment of advanced cancers.
8. Those people with past history of kidney stone  and chronic kidney disease should not use high dose of vitamin C ,because  in these patients.plasma Vitamin C  can reach  to levels above the normal range.
9. Absorption of Vitamin C enhances the non-haem iron absorption that is taken at the same time. Thus help to prevent iron deficiency anemia.
Clinical  features of vitamin deficiency
Vitamin C deficiency produce the following clinical features 
1. Scurvy.
2. Bleeding around the hair follicle (Perifollicular petechiae).
3. Bleeding gums-Swollen spongy gum with bleeding ,loosening of teeth.
4. Follicular hyperkeratosis ( Thickening of skin around the  hair follicle )
5. Delayed wound healing.
6. Infection.
7. Anemia.

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